Its not only Cher who can turn back time a national touring group is turning back time all the way to the bawdy burlesque days of the 1940s.
Pin-Ups on Tour is a group of performers who recreate the World War II era, complete with vintage costumes, songs and skits.
Its all for a good cause, too, with proceeds going to VA hospitals across the country.
The show comes to Oklahoma City 8 p.m. Sunday at Jazmoz Bourbon St. Café, 100 E. California Ave.
As vaudeville died and movies became popular, show producers had to come up with new ways to draw an audience, said Julia Reed Nichols, founder and chief pin-up. As the saying goes, sex sells, so burlesque became a booming business in America and a whole new art form. The women who headlined these clubs were classic beauties dedicated to the art of the tease and always left the audiences wanting more. These shows guaranteed entertainment to their guests, and we hope to live up to that history.
Nichols said the cast of performers met in Los Angeles.
In their downtime, they would volunteer in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals by putting on vintage shows for ill and injured veterans.
Once we put videos of these shows online, our supporters started to ask us to come across the country, Nichols said. We put together our burlesque tour as a fun way of funding these hospital performances and as a way of bringing the community together in support of our military.
When theyre not busy performing on stage or in clubs, Nichols said the group provides free entertainment to the nations military heroes.
We do this in two ways, she said. First, all veterans and active-duty service members attend our events for free. Secondly, we put on free family-friendly performances inside VA hospitals across America. These hospital visits are the heart of our organization, and guests at our events have the opportunity to donate personalized gifts for the veterans we visit that we hand out after our performance. Since our first hospital performance in 2014, we have entertained over 2,500 hospitalized veterans.
The show itself sticks close to 1940s music like The Andrews Sisters Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy but also branches out to include songs as diverse as Elvis Presleys 1972 hit Burning Love. Even though they are classic songs, Nichols said the pin-ups make them fun for audiences at least 18 years old.
I have been overwhelmed by the support our program has received across America, she said. We did our first out-of-town show last year, and since then, we have seen over 6,000 people in 33 states. Much of that support has come from young people in their 20s and 30s looking for a ways to give back that is fun.
Audience members are also encouraged to get in the spirit of the 1940s by dressing in vintage fashions.
We have good music playing, pretty gals dancing, drinks flowing, food and a community of people that are there for the same reason: to help make our veterans smile, Nichols said. Ive seen everyone from 18- to 94-year-olds at our shows. Its a mission that crosses ages.
Tickets are $20-$35 at pinupsontour.com. Veterans and active-duty military are admitted free with RSVP.
Print headline: Vintage views, Pin-Ups on Tour delivers the music and entertainment of the 1940s to veterans across the country.